Friday 23 August 2013

Vintage stitching treasures and needle needs!

I had a great find in our local  Oxfam charity shop. Someone had donated a bundle of lovely old cotton fabric and  several  vintage embroidery  silks. The colour range is not huge, but there are quite a few of them and the thread is gorgeous.

 I'm on a bit of a vintage  journey as I treated myself to this pretty pincushion made by my talented friend Sue, of 'Fancy That'. I've got to say I never buy pretty things for myself but....

when I saw this cup and saucer with the bullfinch design I just had to have it. They are one of my  favourite birds. This year a whole family have fledged and been regularly visiting our garden feeders - which has been really exciting.

I love the lattice saucer and Sue's pretty pins! She doesn't have a website or a blog, so sadly I can't share a link. Sue only sells her work at local craft fairs but I have her contact details.

Having looked at pins, can we move on to needles? ( Did you get that  neat word play, took me all of 10 mins to  work that one out!)
A very helpful lady at Forge Mill Needle Museum saved the day for me this week. I've been desperately searching for single packs of size 12 quilting and 11 Milliner's needles. I've trawled the internet, but nobody seems to stock the tiny sizes I wanted. Then I remembered a great visit to the museum some years ago, and  rang them. No problem for them at all! The needles arrived today, neatly packed. If you 're interested in textiles, Forge Mill is fascinating.

Why did I want the tiny needles?
I'm working on some stitchery projects incorporating very small English paper pieces.I wasn't happy with the threads and needle sizes I've been using for piecing, my stitches are much too big and clunky, as you can see!

 See how teeny the quilting needle is! (This is a small Clover, thimble).  Am I going to regret this?!

Here are both types of tiny needle together in one of my hexies. The milliner's looks gigantic against that wee quilting needle, doesn't it? When you see it on it's own, though, it's really, really fine.

I'm now looking forward to my new 'Superior' sewing threads arriving, and seeing how they affect my stitching. They've come highly recommended for applique and EPP so I'm interested to see how they perform. Has anyone else used them?x


  1. And yet another thing we have in common! Thrifting! (that's what we call it here) You really can find some wonderful treasures in second-hand stores. And I also love your beautiful teacup pincushion. I also have a weakness for vintage teacups! Lovely!

  2. you lucky girl with your charity shop buys, I never find things for stitching etc. The tea cup and saucer are delightful and look so good as a pin cushion.
    Wondering what you are making with your EPP, can see the tiny needles will be great, I use milliners needle a lot for bullion work and also beading which is not really my thing but tend to put beads on my CQ blocks

  3. Isn't it great to find charity shop treasures? I love your little stars, they look so Christmassy!

  4. I thought quilting needles were long, to take several stitches before pulling through - is that a different sort of quilting?

  5. Great finds in the shop sweets! I love that pincushion. How pretty!

    Your paper piecing is so fun! I think you will enjoy the Superior threads I've heard lots of good things about them.

  6. What fantastic finds. I just love that teacup pincushion, what a beautiful thing to display in your sewing room. I enjoy using a tiny needle when I am doing delicate stitching I bet you will be really pleased with it - after you get the tiny eye threaded of course!


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